Learning skills I hope I never use


My maternal and child health nurse suggested my new mothers group think about doing a paediatric first aid course.

We know not to leave bub unattended on the change table, not to leave our children in a hot car and we remember to check the water temperature before we pop them in the bath. But we realised we didn’t know what to do if our babies became seriously ill or injured.

As a group – and with our partners and bubs in tow – we completed the Vital Aid course run by KidzAid Melbourne.

Millie does her best CPR manikin impersonation
Millie does her best CPR manikin impression

The 2.5hr course was held at a nearby learning centre (it can be arranged to complete the course with a small group at home) and made a huge difference to my confidence with my baby because I now know what to do if something goes horribly wrong.

We learnt basic life support and CPR and what to do in the event of choking, drowning, fever, burns and seizures.

We had hands-on practice with lifelike paediatric manikins and learnt from a helpful instructor (all instructors are critical care nurses and paramedics) who made us feel at ease and went over anything ‘baby brain’ failed to understand the first time.

The course is $60 a person, which is money well spent when it comes down to having a little peace of mind.

KidzAid Paediatric First Aid Training can be arranged through kidzaid.com.au



Kids, I think you’re ready for this Jelly

Millie and I ventured across the West Gate today for brunch with friend (and mum-to-be) Meags in the wild, wild west.

Meaghan and Millie at Jellybread
Meaghan and Millie at Jellybread

Personally, I don’t think Footscray deserves its Footscary nickname. Today, as we walked past numerous mums with babes in prams and houses being renovated by enthusiastic young parents, West Footscray was friendly and unassuming.

We decided on brunch at Jellybread. Boy, do I wish this was around the corner from my place.

The prams parked out the front was a dead giveaway that this was our kind of cafe.

Jellybread is cute, cosy, welcoming and a breath of fresh air for mummas. I often see fear in the faces of new mums as they tentatively wheel their newborns or squirmy toddlers into cafes, hoping, just hoping, to get five minutes of latte-sipping time before bub throws a tanty. This cafe is owned by a mum of three. You can tell she understands.

Millie is still young enough to be content sitting in her pram, but I know this won’t last forever.

The double-fronted cafe, in Barkly St, is full of old-school charm, plenty pasted on the walls to keep little babes entertained and a quaint indoor playroom to keep toddlers amused.

Jellybread's indoor play space
Jellybread’s indoor play space

But if the weather allows, wander out the door to the left of the counter and plonk yourself at an outdoor table. The cafe opens up to a large, fenced backyard, complete with guinea pigs, trikes, pedal cars and a full-size (but long retired from service) caravan.

Jellybread Cafe's backyard is a delight for kiddies
Jellybread Cafe’s backyard is a delight for kiddies

Jellybread has started BBQs on a Sunday that are a big hit with families.

But for Tuesday brunch I scoffed down the dukkah eggs and Millie enjoyed the side dish of avocado while watching other children feed grass to the guinea pigs.

The sun was shining, our tummies were full and this mum and bub were happy little Vegemites indeed.

Jellybread Cafe is at 561 Barkly St, West Footscray, open 9am-4pm.




The fuzzy yellow height chart

There’s a lot of ways to track the rapid growth of your new baby.

Born 4 weeks early, Millie was such a tiny little package, swaddled with her sleeping face popped out the top like Snugglepot in a gumnut.

But boy did she change, and quick! Spindly legs grew chubby, her hair got longer and her beautiful little newborn sleepy face all of a sudden morphed into a beautiful little alert baby girl face. This happened before my eyes, within weeks, all too scarily speedy.

So began the Winnie the Pooh fortnightly measurement of growth.


I was told about this idea from my pal Holly, who mentioned her in-laws regularly photographed their little boy beside the same teddy to capture how much he changed in the first year.

Giant Winnie dutifully sits on our bed every fortnight and smiles as our growing girl is placed beside him for her photo shoot.

We’ll eventually print them in order in a photo book – such a sweet way to remember what she looked like and how she has changed.


Before long Millie will be much bigger than Winnie. Once the fortnightly pics wrap up I think I’ll keep the Winnie & Millie tradition going, at least annually, on her birthday or at Christmas.


Glowing, glowing, gone

I can create quite a sizable afro montage on the top right hand corner of the shower screen these days. My hair, it seems, wants out.

It wasn’t always like this.

During my pregnancy last year my hair was shiny, thick and swishy. I gave Rachel Hunter a run for her money (showing my age here folks, apologise if you are too young to remember Rod Stewart’s ex wife and her 90s Pantene commercials). My skin glowed without the need for primer. My expanding baby bump rounded and smoothed out the jiggly parts of my tum.

I loved being pregnant. I was lucky enough to escape the morning sickness, the ballooning ankles and the crazy cravings.

But now…oh dear. Hair carpets the bathroom tiles and what my husband and I have affectionately named the hair rat sits on the corner of the shower screen after every wash*. Glowing decollatage is now more likely to come from bub’s dribble giving me a nice ‘sheen’.

Appointments at the waxing and hair salons are squeezed in between feeds and when someone is home to take bub out of your clutches for an hour or three.

(Thank goodness) I’m not Kim Kardashian or Kate Middleton, so don’t have the fear of getting papped once I venture out of the house. But feeling ok about leaving the confines of your home is important – Millie and I enjoy our daily walks, I really believe it’s good for both of us.

I’ve asked fellow new mothers the little tricks they use to help the time-poor, overtired, emotional mummas out there look and feel more human. Some said a fail-safe messy bun in their hair disguised an overdue cut and colour; another had her eyelashes tinted so even without make-up she wouldn’t look like a zombie; many (including me) wear trendy harem/slouch/PJ-style pants instead of trackies – same comfort factor, but much more stylish – and a another friend said dry shampoo was so essential that cans of it should be given to every mum-to-be at their baby shower.

Anyway, I’m sure our bodies will settle down, our hair will return and primping and preening will get easier as the bubs get older and settle into routines.

When all is said and done, I don’t know what I’m worried about. With a cute new bubba peering from the pram, who’s looking at me anyway?

*Hair rats are disgusting, but sticking the stray hair up there until I get out sure beats pulling it all out of the plug hole down the track.